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Hazel Blears steps down as Communities Secretary

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Hazel Blears has announced she will stand down as Communities Secretary in next week’s government reshuffle

The Salford MP, who had been under pressure over expense claims was responsible, as the secretary of state for Communities and Local Government, for the government’s regeneration plans.

In a statement, Blears said she had informed the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown of her decision this morning.

Blears said: ‘My politics has always been rooted in the belief that ordinary people are capable of extraordinary things, given the right support and encouragement.

‘The role of a progressive government should be to pass power to the people. I’ve never sought high office for the sake of it, or for what I can gain, but for what I can achieve for the people I represent and serve.’

Blears paid back over £13,000 to the parliamentary office after claims that she avoided capital gains tax over a property sale.

It follows the news yesterday that Home Secretary Jacqui Smith will leave the government at the next reshuffle.

During her tenure, Blears launched the 21st major restructuring of the Planning Act since 1947. The Killian Pretty review was designed to eliminate bureaucratic hurdles and create a leaner, more efficient system.











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